William Nathan (who I’ve written about before) was a member of the Rice Institute’s first class. We have his scrapbook in the Woodson and it’s been a real source of pleasure for me. Nathan led a very active life as a student and he held on to all kinds of things, from ticket stubs to dance cards to notes from his professors.
William Nathan was also the first Rice student to graduate with honors. His real interest in the life of the mind is also apparent in his scrapbook. He saved most, if not all, of the exams he took at Rice and they provide an extraordinary snapshot of the state of the disciplines and of pedagogy just after the turn of the century. (Unfortunately, his answers aren’t there!) This exam was given in the spring of 1915, when he was a junior, most likely by Professor Stockton Axson. Have a look:
It’s sobering, no?